She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. (Prov. 31:15)

SHE PROBABLY WON’T BE CHOSEN as Glamour‘s woman of the year, but the woman described in Proverbs 31:10–31 captures the spotlight as someone to be admired and praised. She is portrayed as industrious, trustworthy, loving, self-sacrificing, committed to her spouse and family, resourceful, generous, and God-fearing.

As a child, I saw these noble characteristics in the lives of both men and women who worked hard to better the lives of family members and others. World War II was raging then, and times were tough. Men often worked long hours in factories to support the war effort. My dad, for example, labored in a hot, noisy foundry that manufactured artillery shells. Like many other moms, my mother did a lot of knitting to supply warm sweaters, socks, and scarves not only for family members, but also for soldiers. Many food items were scarce during the war, but Mom walked to and from a grocery store to buy whatever food was available. My brothers and I never went hungry. Mom saw to that! Also, Mom fixed a hot breakfast every morning around five for Dad before he left for work.

Although those were lean years, it seems to me that love of family and others grew out of a healthy reverence for God. Perhaps when times are tough, people tend to rely on God more than they do in prosperous times.

Clearly define the meaning of commitment, self-sacrifice, and service in your daily actions.

Jim Dyet was born in Scotland and raised in Canada. Married for fifty-six years, he and Gloria live in Colorado Springs and enjoy daily walks with their three dogs.